George W. Davis

GREEN: City Council could vote June 10 on whether to partner with restaurateur Theodore Swaldo on a water project that also could carry drinking water to the cityís Southgate Park.

Finance Committee chair Chris Humphrey on Tuesday questioned whether it was a good idea to pay up to $40,000 to assist Swaldo in running a 1,200-foot, 6-inch water line from the east side of Massillon Road to his three-story Twisted Olive restaurant complex, plus as much as $40,000 more to run a 450-foot water line from the Swaldo property to the adjacent park property. A fountain and hydrant could be installed there to assist firefighters as well as the public.

Mayor Dick Norton called the proposal a win-win for Swaldo and the city. Humphrey and others questioned whether the city should partner and authorize a maximum of $80,000 or wait to add water at Southgate.

Planning Director Wayne Wiethe said the project is estimated to cost $160,000.

He also said it is up to the council whether to ďpay a little nowĒ or in the future pay upward of $130,000 to run a water line an estimated 1,200 feet to Southgate from Massillon Road.

ďItís hard to imagine itís not good wisdom to have running public water in that park. Itís going to serve a whole lot of needs,Ē Norton said. ďIf we can do it now, itís my judgment itís good business sense, good use of resources and good wisdom. Itís good planning on our part.Ē

In other business, the council discussed an amendment to the cityís cab ordinance. It would require taxi services to carry liability insurance covering passengers and third parties.

Legislation addressing taxis originally passed in February, after the city had received a number of complaints from individuals who were victims of unlawful and exorbitant fares by some operators within the city and at Akron-Canton Airport.

The amendment would take effect July 1, according to Law Director Stephen Pruneski, who drafted the legislation.

Meanwhile, the ordinance requiring taxis to conspicuously post rates in their vehicles and with the city takes effect Sunday.

Pruneski said any cab in the taxi lane at Akron-Canton Airport must have a meter in the vehicle. Companies that only provide pre-arranged fixed rates of fare to specific locations are exempted, he said.

Kristie Van Auken, senior vice president and chief marketing/communication, said the airport fully supports the cityís legislation and noted it is understood that all taxi services at the airport now have meters installed, except Akron-Canton Taxi.

That companyís owner, Tim Cox, said he favored the change making meters optional.

George W. Davis can be reached at mediaman@sssnet.com.